Last summer, Smith took his love for okra to new heights through his work with the Utopian Seed Project, a organization that aims to create diverse and integrated food systems. He catalogued more than 75 varieties of the vegetable, which he hopes will promote resilience against pests, disease and climate change while providing greater food security.
With wedding season right around the corner, local wedding vendors are ramping up options for local couples.
Eric Bradford, director of operations at local environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks, calls China’s restriction of its recyclables market a wake-up call for domestic recyclers. “We were basically paying China to be our landfill for these ‘recyclables,’ and we felt good about it,” he says.
Clere calls the effort a “natural outgrowth” from the last of the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles: “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
Rituals that draw on the traditions of indigenous, non-Western cultures are part of a growing industry at the intersection of health, wellness and spirituality. Some in Western North Carolina have raised concerns about whether it’s appropriate for non-native practitioners to offer and profit from traditional practices and techniques.
The city of Asheville has taken initial steps toward rezoning real estate in four places around town in hopes of encouraging new development that would offer a denser mix of housing, shops and office space, similar to Biltmore Park Town Square or Reynolds Village in Woodfin. “Asheville wants to move in a direction that is more urban, that is more walkable, that has a greater mix of uses,” says city planner Vaidila Satvika.
Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Henderson County Republican, on April 16 introduced a bill in the state House to require the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County to add Fletcher, Mills River and some unincorporated areas of northern Henderson County to its service district if a state board approves. The following day, the Buncombe MSD board voted to oppose the bill.
Free programs from the Buncombe County Master Gardeners offer guidance in sustainable growing practices.
Part Two of the beer industry sustainability series explores the challenges and successes of new breweries entering an established, competitive market.
Local divisions of the N.C. Department of Transportation won recognition in the state’s annual Wildflower Awards, while the city of Asheville studies noise and the Buncombe Partnership for Children deploys a $400,000 grant to train up to 60 new early childhood educators in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.
“The youngest generation … they are particularly focused on climate change,” says Ashley McDermott, one of the founding members of Sunrise’s Asheville chapter. “They’re the ones who have this emotional connection to it the most. They’re seeing and experiencing it now.”
Beekeepers in the United States experienced an estimated 40 percent loss in their colonies between April 2017 and April 2018, and last year, North Carolina’s honeybee population experienced a 50 percent loss, no doubt impacting the state’s $84 billion agriculture industry.
Enthusiasts say milk that hasn’t been pasteurized contains more nutrients; opponents say it may contain dangerous germs. Although it’s currently illegal in North Carolina to purchase raw milk for human consumption, the Small Dairy Sustainability Act would establish statewide standards for its production.
The annual Asheville Wordfest, which takes place April 12-14, promises to bring three days of Appalachia-focused workshops and readings by area writers, readers and thinkers.
“We need to have as much say as possible over the decisions that affect our lives, the money that informs our projects, the food that we eat and every system we touch,” writes Lee Warren, executive director of the Organic Growers School. “Relocalizing means taking back our power in every possible way.”
The Black Mountain Public Library and UNC Asheville offer programs that provide free seeds to the community.
Last year saw Duffer lead Asheville High School against 765 other teams from across the globe in the Drawdown EcoChallenge. The students achieved victory over the Taiwan Sugar Corporation in a leapfrogging race to make the most impact, earning most of their points through their time spent studying solutions to reverse climate change.
“More than anything, automation has made work more manageable, and also it’s made the management of items and data more simple,” says Randy Talley, co-owner of the certified green and sustainability-focused Green Sage Cafe.
Hundreds of native tree varieties, including pawpaws, maples, oaks, river birches, sourwoods and more, will be up for grabs at the March 30 event.
Moving to Conservers is partnering with local farms, breweries and organizations to connect food waste producers with businesses and individuals who can put scraps to good use.
“If you take one thing away from this rally, let it be this: You are not as small as you think you are,” said Asheville High School freshman Clay Swan-Davis. The event, part of a global strike involving over 1.4 million young activists, called for “radical legislative action to combat climate change.”